When it comes to massive open online courses (MOOCs), completion rates and cheating have been lightning rods for public opinion. Plagiarism-detection software may be the solution to the cheating issue.
A study from Turnitin, an online plagiarism-prevention service, found that schools using its software had seen a 39% drop in unoriginal writing since 2009, according to a report in eCampus News. More than 55 million online assignments from 1,000 colleges and universities over a five-year span were used in the study.
Additional results showed that two-year colleges with between 3,000 and 5,000 students had the largest reduction (78%) in unoriginal writing for online assignments. Four-year institutions with fewer than 1,000 students saw a 19% decrease in plagiarism, the smallest change in the study.
More than 75% of institutions have adopted academic-integrity policies for nontraditional courses, according to a report released in December from the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education (WICHE). That study also found that 40% of the responding schools use technology to authenticate student test-takers and another 14% said they had adopted policies to curb cheating in online courses.